“Even If You’re Shy,” Liahona, April 2016, 60–61
When I was a new mission president in Brazil, I was interviewing some elders. I asked one to tell me about himself.
“I am very shy,” he said. He worried that his shyness was getting in the way of being able to serve.
I asked, “Do you think the Lord can help you to be a good missionary anyway?”
“I believe the Lord can do anything.”
“Then let Him help you. Do you think you can do that?”
“I can,” he said.
I have to confess that as he walked away, I thought, “Well, I hope it works.”
Weeks passed and soon the same missionaries came for interviews again. This time the shy elder’s companion said, “President, I don’t know what you told him, but it certainly made a difference. He’s become great at talking with people.” And so I was looking forward to visiting with him again.
When he came into my office, he looked down at his feet.
“I have some good news,” he said. “I’m still shy, but I asked the Lord to help me. Then I opened my mouth and started to speak. And you know what? I do it all the time now. I don’t even remember what I say. The incredible thing is that people like it. They feel the Spirit. They relate to me and to what I have to tell them.”
I was amazed to see how this missionary was transformed when he put his trust in the Lord. He became a great instrument in bringing happiness to many people.
When we share the gospel, we sometimes feel nervous. But as this shy missionary demonstrated, the Lord will guide us if we trust in Him. The Holy Ghost will help us know what to say (see 2 Nephi 32:2–3), and when people feel the Spirit, they often respond in a positive way. Many become intrigued by what we believe and want to know more.
I have a testimony that Heavenly Father will guide us in our efforts to share the gospel, and in that process we will feel great joy. In fact, that joy will be with us not only now but also in the world to come. (See D&C 18:16.) That’s a good reason to step outside your comfort zone and do something, even if you’re shy.